Summary: Michael is suspicious when GOB and Lindsay start getting along. (And also wonders why he would ever come back to the family. Ever.)
Author's Note: This is just something I wrote one day when I was really bored. Lots of fun to write, though. [= It's supposed to take place sometime after the series finale.
Disclaimer: Unfortunately, no, I do NOT own Arrested Development, or any of its characters. -sigh- D;
Michael sits in the kitchen of the model home, casually flipping through a magazine he came across about ten minutes ago. It'd awkwardly shoved underneath a giant fruit bowl and four body-building magazines.
Where the hell the Bluths or Funkes possibly got a fruit bowl, is beyond him. No one around here eats fruit anyway, unless the frozen bananas count, but only GOB ever really gets one. And then it's mainly chocolate and nuts.
"My name is - "
Quickly, Michael slams the magazine shut. Why that promo is still continued, he'll never know. It really is a stupid show anyway.
"Hey, was that Franklin?"
Michael looks up: GOB is tentatively positioned a few feet away, leaning on the frame between the front door and living room/kitchen; his eyes are wide, and his eyebrows stretch as far as they'll go.
"Uh, no." Michael flashes the magazine cover in his brother's direction; he keeps a tight hold on keeping it closed, not needing a greeting ringing mercilessly through his head the whole live long day.
"Oh." GOB slumps down a few inches, limbs useless.
"But I'll keep - "
" 'Cause that was his favorite greeting." GOB acts as if he hasn't heard his brother's freeing gesture to be on the look out for the notorious FDB - Franklin Delano Bluth. As if Franklin would get very far, anyway; not if the Bluths have anything to say about it.
Michael's eyebrows involuntarily raise. "I take it you can't find him?"
"No," GOB bites his lip as he looks over; an awkward expression, to say the least. Michael notices for the first time the untidiness of his brother's hair and nearly comments, but before he can, GOB continues: "He ran away!"
"Ran away?" Michael mouths, though GOB isn't paying mind: The oldest Bluth son lets out a loud sob, clutching his chest. Once more, the weight of the world falls directly on Michael's shoulders and is incredibly unwilling to let go. And on a day he planned to relax, too. But it's not like he does much on off-days anyway, so he plows on:
"Where d'you think he might've gone?"
GOB helplessly shrugs, "I dunno. All I do know is I miss 'im. I miss the son of a bitch." He stares at the ceiling, looking far off; Michael has to wonder if someone slipped his brother some Afternoone Deelite.
"Oh, well, I'm sure he'll turn up."
Not that he expects much of a response, anyway, but he is still a little surprised when GOB casually shrugs and mumbles, "I guess."
Michael has no helpful sentiment. He looks down at the magazine for a moment and then up at GOB who has taken to silently sobbing into his sleeve - the sleeve he claims is worth $4,000, though Michael once caught sight of a price tag which held no zeros; only a huge: $26.
"GOB," he says, though isn't sure where he's going with this; GOB looks up from his sleeve, eyes red.
Words of strong encouragement are not usually Michael's forte, especially when it involves a racist being like Franklin. He feels awkward to say the least when GOB stares at him with wide eyes and a deep frown. Without thinking, he blurts out, "I think I saw him with Lindsay."
"Lindsay?" GOB's eyebrows momentarily rise and then fall back, joining his mouth in a scowl. "Lindsay!"
Michael nods, "Yep. Lindsay. I think she was using him to get back at Mom for something." He's never thought himself a good liar, but GOB seems to disagree and clenches his fists.
As another bit of proof of the Bluths/Funkes usually having very bad timing, Lindsay herself stumbles into the model home, nothing but a plethora of shopping bags in hand. The door slams shut behind her.
GOB immediately reaches out - quite literally knocking all the bags in her left hand to the ground. Nothing clangs or gives any hint of shattering or needing water, so Michael takes this as an answer to his unasked question and assumes she bought her weight in clothing.
"Alright, where is he?" GOB glares.
"Where's who?" Lindsay looks down at her fallen items for a moment and then back up, gladly returning the not-so-threatening glare. "I don't have time for this. I need to sort my beads; I'm thinking of starting up the business again."
Michael, again, attempts at throwing his two cents in, but before he can, GOB shouts, "Forget the bees! They don't bring in the honey, only pain. Tell me where Franklin is."
"What the [bleep] are you talking about?" Lindsay begins picking up her fallen purchases; one makes a slight clanging sound. Perhaps she does have a fragile item in hand, which is annoying to say the least, considering the the fragile state of their shares.
"Franklin!" GOB throws his hands in the air. "Where is he? Michael said you took him to Mom's."
Michael winces, and attempts to hide his face behind the magazine. "My name is - " Close.
"I don't have your [bleep]ing puppet," Lindsay snaps, glaring at her fake-twin. "And even if I did, I wouldn't - " she pauses, " - well, I guess I would use him against Mom." Her tone turns thoughtful.
"Well, where is he, then?" GOB panics; he waves his hands in the air again. "I mean, I've looked everywhere. The kitchen, the living room - "
"Your room?" Lindsay suggests, polished eyebrow raised. She stalks upstairs, bags in hand, apparently forgetting that GOB doesn't live here and never has.
Although GOB seems to think this a grand idea as once again his eyes grow very wide. However this time, a wicked grin jumps on board. Not so quietly, he muses, "Of course, the Seaward."
Michael sighs, "Lindsay already said that Mom doesn't have him."
"Wha - No. No. My yacht," GOB waves Michael's comment off.
"I forgot about that," Michael mutters. He truthfully wants to add more, but GOB races off, yelling about needing to go tell Franklin something. A straight answer is hard to get out of this family, but Michael still feels the need to call after him, "Don't you mean get Franklin?"
Just as Michael settles down at a spontaneous business meeting, Wayne Jarvis on one end, Barry Zuckercorn on the other (trying to decide which to choose), laughter erupts. Instead of turning, Michael sighs and lays his head down on the table.
"Hey, hey, hey, Mikey," GOB's voice is heard first, coming from the doorway. Unsurprising to say the least, considering the alarming number of important meetings he has decided to jump in unannounced the past few years.
"No, no, lemme tell him." Lindsay's voice is badly concealed behind GOB's. It's strange to hear their voices ring together in such harmony.
"Oh, alright." GOB laughs again; he also sounds like he slaps his knee, though through closed eyes, it's hard to tell. "G-go ahead."
"Alright." Lindsay snorts and a moment later: "Hey, you punk-assed punk. Get y'ur lazy ass outta that chair. We're gonna blast some hoes. You in?"
It's weird hearing Franklin's voice coming out of anyone but GOB. Especially since Lindsay's interpretation almost has an Aussie flair. Without wasting the energy needed to lift such an exhausted head, Michael mumbles, "I take it you found him?"
"Yeah, yeah!" GOB exclaims. His bad mood from this morning has obviously taken a 180. Michael has the same problem, but just the opposite effect: Barry and Wayne pretty much shattered any chance he has at a day off.
With this last, and incredibly depressing thought, he lifts his head and takes a long gaze at his siblings: Lindsay and GOB stand hardly inches apart, Franklin perched on her right hand while GOB twitters around the two, fussing over Franklin like a child.
"Whoa, what's going on here?" Michael asks, arching a brow. Since when do Lindsay and GOB ever get along? The last time they were this close (excluding this morning), she'd slapped him and called him a "man-whore." Truer words had never been spoken, but even Michael thought the sentiment was a little harsh.
Lindsay and GOB exchange a quick glance, managing straight faces for half a second and then, all at once, they both crack.
Michael takes a peek at Wayne Jarvis and Barry Zuckercorn:: Wayne roughly cleans his glasses with the sleeve of his supposed $2,600 sportjacket, while Barry stares into a pocket mirror, combing his hair. Michael can't bring himself to bat an eyelash at the two: This must say something about either him, his family, or anyone the Bluths have to deal with; perhaps all three.
But when he looks back at his fake-twin and older brother, he can't quite put his finger on the mess. So, he goes with the first thought to come to mind:
"What d'you want?" He deadpans this question, though knowing his sarcastic remarks have no affect on anyone in his family anymore. Perhaps excluding his father, he's the most sadistic member; it may be why everyone else thinks he was switched at birth.
Lindsay instantly ceases her laughter and stands straighter, her free hand landing on her hip. "Michael, why do you always assume that George and I want something?"
For a moment, Michael wonders who the hell she's talking about: Their father's back in prison and George-Michael's nowhere near the office. Then it hits him and he turns to GOB, eyebrow cocked.
GOB coolly shrugs, "Yeah, thought I'd try it out. 'GOB' doesn't really sound ... " he waves jazz hands in the air, " ... er ... 'magician-y' enough."
"Oh, and George does?" Michael can't control the eyeroll that accompanies this comment.
"Hey, it sounds a lot better to say 'I'm George Bluth the second', than 'hey, I'm GOB Bluth." GOB cringes, "I mean, 'GOB Bluth is so " again a hand wave appears, though more of a rolling one; Michael sees no sight of true emphasis " ... redundant."
Michael has to admit that his brother makes a valid point, "Well, the B does stand for Bluth," but then again, he also feels the need to mock, "by the way, have you been checking out that dictionary I bought you last Christmas? Redundant's a big word, after all."
GOB stares at his little brother for a moment, seeming to take in the mockery. Then he scowls, however looking less affected than he seems to want to let on; he really shouldn't be, considering he and Michael have been having these discussions since the 70s.
"Anyway, what d'you guys really want?" Michael harshly asks. He vaguely gestures to the two lawyers, even with assuming that they're paying no mind to the Bluth siblings. "I'm kinda in the middle of something."
Lindsay, Franklin still at hand, looks at Barry and Wayne, eyebrows reaching for the ceiling. "Yeah," she quips, "yeah, they look real important."
GOB laughs as she does, though they both stop when Michael shoots them a glare.
"Hey, this is serious - "
"Michael, d'you think my hair's okay?"
Michael turns to Barry who frantically gestures to his own head, comb in one hand, mirror in the other. This, too, is an wildly good example of bad timing: Lindsay and GOB break out into howls again as Michael says, "Uh, yeah, looks fine - can we get back to business?"
Wayne either isn't paying attention or is at least very good at pretending not to, for he hardly flinches when Michael tries calling him back into the conversation, too. Wayne's glasses are streaked now, and Michael scowls at his siblings as a warning: The last thing he needs is the prosecuting attorney to be insulted by the astrayed brother and sister team.
GOB seems less than hesitant as he calms his laughter enough to say, "Anyway, Mikey, Linds and I actually came down here to ask you to lunch. Our treat." They group together and grin, Franklin set between them. They look like a circus act. A very creepy circus act, complete with a racist puppet.
Somehow, Michael can't see this as being a liable excuse. He makes a move to tell GOB where he can put his so-called "lunch," until Barry pipes up: "Did someone say lunch? I could really go for a BLT. Do they still sell those in the O.C.?"
Michael doesn't even have time to mutter, "Don't call it that," before Lindsay nods and enthusiastically invites the whole gang. The world apparently feels the need to bitch-slap the hell out of the middle Bluth today; nothing new, but he still sighs as he stands and follows the two lawyers, and his two siblings out to some resturant with a sacred BLT.
Michael lets out a sigh that, to him, resembles Hell itself as the lunch date ends. He asks Barry, "Why did we have to go out?" and Wayne, "What day would be best?", practically all at once.
"I needed a BLT fix."
"Tomorrow. Noon. Be there."
Both answers are satisfactory enough. Michael would argue, but doesn't see the point. GOB and Lindsay stand on either side of him, still fiddling with Franklin's hair and jacket behind his back. They make such proud parents - if only they practiced more with Maeby and Steve.
As Michael walks into the kitchen, he hears his siblings mutter profanities behind his back. Again. Though it can be assumed that if he asks them what they're saying, they'll just both blame Franklin and call it good.
George-Michael and Maeby sit at the counter, crowded around something or other. George-Michael jumps as his father greets him and quickly attempts to stow whatever it is away; though Maeby snatches it from his hands and takes it, staring at it as she walks off, her head slightly askew. Lindsay doesn't bat an eyelash.
"He - hey, dad."
"Hey, buddy. How was school?" The sight of his son cheers him up a little, but not much. Franklin may very well make some derogatory comment about the teen's "cracker ass." Again. Such an odd character to work with, George-Michael.
"Uh, it was alright." George-Michael mirrors his father as he shoots a glance at his aunt and uncle. Still a weird sight in Michael's mind, though he has to suppose that he's gotten used to it somewhat. He should anyway, what with spending the past hour with them, pretending not to hear Franklin.
Michael immediately replies, "I have no idea," to his son's unasked question. He has to imagine what GOB and Lindsay would possibly do without Franklin; without him, they really have nothing to fuss over. In a way, they're both third wheels.
"Have they always been like this?"
"What? No. I wish." Michael pauses and then quickly corrects himself: "Wait, no. I don't."
The idea of a bond forming between Lindsay and GOB is enough to make his stomach churn. God knows what publicity stunt GOB'd convince her to either "help him with" or "do."
And she's not much better. Michael can see the expense report now: GOB Bluth and Lindsay Bluth-Funke; May 20th; $5,000 dress; $5,000 suit. Not a pretty image.
Michael makes a mental note to always ask where they're going before they go anywhere and to observe their attire. Nothing new today: $10.00 slacks and a $20.00 dress are evident through club sauce stains.
"Anyway," Lindsay says, forcing Michael to return to the real world; he almost likes his horrible fantasy more. She nods to GOB, "Georgie and I are gonna go get a haircut." She fiddles a bit with Franklin's hair, squinting, "He really could use one."
Franklin, through GOB, comments, "As long as this cracka-ass - " he nods at GOB, " - doesn't ruin our act again."
GOB sighs, "I already told you - you needed a wash!"
Franklin makes a move to continue, but GOB claps a hand over his mouth and weakly grins at Michael. Apparently, neither GOB nor Franklin have anything to add, for they leave, saying nothing more.
Michael rolls his eyes, though waves them off, not needing more detail. Actually, the last thing he needs is more detail. Secretly, he wonders if Franklin will revert back to British form, but figures he'll know soon enough.
"Yeah, okay. Okay. I'll be there. Thanks."
Michael clicks the phone off and plops down, wearily rubbing his eyes. George-Michael, who sits a few feet away doing homework, looks up from his math book. When he asks what's happened, Michael merely says, "Pop-pop happened, that's what." He weakly grins, "Don't worry about it, pal. Not your problem."
George-Michael, although appearing skeptical, nods and turns back to his work.
"Anyway, pal, I need to - "
Something shatters outside; probably just a potted plant.
Michael, who is half-raised from his seat, drops back down and leans into one of the cushions. Hearing this argument is inevitable, no matter if it's two seconds or two days from now, so he figures he'll get it over with.
"No, GOB, no, that is not what happened and you know it."
"Then where did the lighter fluid come from? Huh? Riddle me that, Linds!"
"Up your [bleep]ing sleeve!"
Michael rolls his eyes at George-Michael, who shrugs and keeps writing; smart choice, staying
out of it. Their banter sounds somewhat familar, like maybe they've had this conversation before. Or perhaps it's a collection of familar words grouped together in a not-so-different way; it's hard to tell anymore.
GOB and Lindsay enter, their faces still less than an inch apart, though this time, neither include a happy disposition. On the contrary, both hold a scowl. Franklin is nowhere to be found.
Deciding that it's the best ice-breaker, Michael starts with that: "Hey, where's your little pal Franklin?"
Lindsay's eyes stay focused on GOB's. "Mr. Illusionist here set him on fire."
"On fire?" Michael's eyebrows reach his hairline. "GOB, not another magic show!"
GOB sighs and opens his mouth to answer, but before he can, Lindsay jumps in: "Yes, another magic show. At the barber shop. Tom Jane here wanted his - "
"Wait, you guys actually went to a barber shop?" Michael truthfully doesn't see why he's surprised; after all, this is GOB - a man who's pretty intent on breaking out Franklin whenever he can.
"Well, yeah - where else would we get haircuts?" Lindsay's expression mirrors Michael's, as does GOB's, though he's too busy fiddling with his own hair to pay much attention.
"Oh, I dunno," Michael seriously thinks this over for a moment, however knowing how sarcastic he must sound, "Like, maybe a toy shop or something?" When his siblings continue to stare, he adds, "I'm guessing the barber wasn't too intent on the toy." He motions to the empty space between GOB and Lindsay.
"What're you - " GOB pauses and he and Lindsay exchange a glance. "Wait, did you think that - "
"That what?" Michael can't help the tone that comes out, however feeling a little foolish. It hits him all at once, and he feels his face grow hot. He's made a huge mistake, which judging by GOB and Lindsay's ever-amused expressions, they're quite well aware of.
"You thought that Franklin was - "
Michael tries recovering, "Well, in my defense, Lindsay, you were looking at Franklin when you said it." He looks between his siblings, noticing something he thinks he should've seen from the get-go. "So I guess it's you two that - "
"Nah, just George," Lindsay gazes at GOB's head for a moment, nose scrunching up. "I just got a wash." She runs her hands through her own hair and then for some reason, poses, as if she's on a runway. In her mind, she probably is.
"So what'd you guys do with Franklin then?" Michael asks out of mere curiosity. He doesn't really care, but curiosity is a cruel mistress; hopefully it won't kill him.
"Fire marshall has 'im," GOB casually shrugs. "Says he'll bring 'im back on Thursday, all clean and ready to go."
"As long as you drop the lighter fluid," Lindsay mutters and GOB shoots her a glare.
Then he glances down at his supposed $2,600 sleeves and glares harder: "Most inconsistent trick ever."
Michael shakes his head. He doesn't need this; not another lecture on magic tricks. He quickly asks, "Why'd you get a haircut?" - though thinking that this is the most mundane question he's asked in a long time. But then again, that's not saying much.
GOB shrugs and runs a hand though his slightly shorter hair, "Felt like it." Honestly, Michael thinks that it's because GOB's hair keeps almost getting lit on fire, though doesn't say so.
Lindsay looks uncomfortable: She keeps shifting her weight between legs. Michael opens his mouth to say something about this - another accusation, though one he finds will have meaning.
The siblings all turn to the summoned: George-Michael, who hesitantly stands. Another sound then arises from upstairs and the four of them all look up.
Maeby comes bounding down, large box in hand. Without even acknowledging the adults, she marches straight up to her cousin, glaring; he stares at her, head tilted.
"Wha - "
"What's this about?"
George-Michael nervously exchanges a glance with Michael, who has no words of encouragement or even confusion. Though he supposes his expression has confusion covered.
"W-what d'you mean?"
Maeby roughly tosses the box down and takes off the lid. Inside is a white, lacy dress; one meant for a very cheap wedding. She continues glaring, while Michael notices Lindsay and GOB exchange a nervous glance of their own.
"I found this under my bed." She flails the sleeve in his face. "We're not married. That was pretend."
George-Michael shakes his head, "I-I know. That's not mine."
Maeby's expression softens, though not much. Skeptically, she asks, "Really?"
"Well, who's is it?"
He shrugs, but Lindsay joins in, "Does it really matter who's it is? I think it was mine from way back when." She absently twirls a strand of hair around on her finger, looking every which way but at her fake-twin.
Michael shakes his head. "No, no, your's wasn't quite this nice."
GOB chuckles, "Maybe it was Mom's then. I mean, does it really matter?"
Lindsay nods, "George is right. It doesn't matter. Let's just - " She bends down to snatch the box away, but Michael, noticing a very new-looking price tag, reaches it first:
"A thousand dollars?" He sighs and rounds onto his siblings who both stare back with sheepish grins. Not exactly convincing, though they might believe so.
"George and I were just - "
"I can't believe you two," Michael changes stance, hands on hips, "Actually, you know what? I can. This family seems to have this casualty about this sort of thing, anyway, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised."
"What, incest?" George-Michael laughs. "I mean, that's just crazy. I mean, we - "
"No, not incest," Michael says, still glaring at his brother and sister. "I was talking about cheating."
They exchange another quick glance, sealing the accusation as being one-hundred percent true. A disturbing sentiment, though Michael can't say he's surprised; if anything, he's shocked this hasn't happened already.
"I'm assuming you did this since you're fort - "
"Don't say it!" Lindsay cries, shielding her ears. "Don't say the F word."
Michael turns his eyes to the ceiling; it has blue paint stains. He doesn't want to know how that happened. Ignoring his fake-twin's outburst, he looks to GOB who also stares at the ceiling; it looks like he's seen the blue, too, though won't say anything.
"You realize that she tried this with me already, right?"
GOB snaps onto her. "What? I'm second to him?" He vaguely motions to Michael, however keeping his attention glued to his adoptive sister.
Linday's eyes skim the ceiling. "I just needed to get remarried. Otherwise, Sitwell gets my shares, end of story."
"You said that if I married you, you'd give those shares to me," GOB growls, and Michael honestly feels a pang of sympathy for him. For at least being so gulliable.
"Why the hell would I give you the shares?" Lindsay snaps.
GOB frowns, apparently having no sarcastic remark. Michael, again, feels a slight hint of sympathy, but it doesn't last long. Rage comes roaring back:
"And I assume you two were acting like friends so I'd sign the witness paper."
Lindsay sighs, "Well, what'd you expect? You wouldn't marry me and it's not like me and George are related." She flinches and quickly corrects, "GOB. GOB and I aren't related."
"You two are still siblings, even if not by blood," Michael says, eyes narrowed. "So, no. You're not getting married, and you're sure as hell not getting me to sign a witness. And don't bother mom or dad. Or Buster."
Lindsay loudly groans, tugging at her hair. She storms up their stair case, violently dragging the dress along.
GOB opens his mouth and then closes it several times before wincing and looking down at his crotch. He mutters, "I guess you'll have to return from whence you came."
He walks out the front door, still digging at the front of his pants.
Michael sighs, wondering why the hell he and George Michael ever decided to return. And, almost as importantly, wondering what the pet store's return policy is - but on that level, he really doesn't care and is honestly glad that he doesn't work there.